What is an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and how do I apply for my Filipino domestic helper’ (maid)s OEC? 
Published on 18 Feb 2022, last updated on 2 Feb 2024
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The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a document issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)/ Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to certify that a Filipino domestic worker is registered for legal employment abroad.
The OEC is required when your worker is exiting the Philippines for a destination country. Workers may be turned away from returning to Malaysia at the Philippine Immigration border if they do not have an OEC. Once an OEC is issued, it will be valid for sixty (60) days and your worker must return to Malaysia within those 60 days.
Kindly note that showing a valid work permit in Malaysia is not sufficient for your helper to prove her legal overseas employment status in Malaysia when a check is performed at Philippine airport Immigration. The following is required to ensure that your worker can board her flight to return to Malaysia to work:
- A valid and duly verified POEA Employment Contract
- A valid Malaysian work permit
- A passport that is valid for at least 6 months on the date of travel, and
- A valid OEC.
Kindly note that an OEC can only be applied for by the helper directly, and agencies like Pinkcollar are unable to represent the employer/ helper to obtain an OEC on her behalf. Here is the latest process for your helper to apply for her OEC:
- Ensure that your helper already has a valid POEA employment contract with you. (Please refer to Pinkcollar’s POEA contract guide).
- Your helper is required to register online on the new POEA/Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Online Services portal. The portal will then inform her if she is eligible to receive an OEC exemption.
- If she is not eligible for an OEC exemption, the system will direct her to an online appointment page to book an appointment to a local POEA branch to apply for her OEC. If the POLO-Kuala Lumpur option is available for your helper online, she may secure the appointment to visit the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Kuala Lumpur.
Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)
Kindly note that an OEC exemption and/ or applying for an OEC at the POLO-KL will only be available to workers who already have an existing registered POEA contract with the Philippine government in the past.
For workers who have entered Malaysia to work without engaging POEA’s formal legal processes and have only obtained a verified POEA contract AFTER they receive a Malaysian work permit, the worker will be required to register on the POEA Online Services Portal and make an appointment to apply for their first OEC at a POEA office in the Philippines.
The following documents are required for your helper to apply for her OEC:
- Verified POEA contract (originals or copies are accepted)
- Your worker’s original passport valid for at least six (6) months before her return to Malaysia
- Your worker’s multiple-entry valid work permit in Malaysia, ideally valid for at least 3 months upon re-entry to Malaysia
- Your worker’s private insurance copy in Malaysia (occasionally asked)
The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur encourages all Filipino workers in Malaysia to carry out this online registration on their own as their personal accounts would store confidential data and Philippine government-related information.
Alternatively, you may get in touch with the POLO team using the contact information provided above, as they are generally helpful in assisting Filipino workers with OEC processing-related queries.